By Longtong Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) — Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Jummai Alhassan has expressed happiness over the 21 Chibok girls released on Thursday by the Boko Haram group.
She said, “I was so excited to hear that 21 of our girls have been freed. We thank God for their release. I equally thank the Federal government for speaking and providing enabling environment for negotiation with Boko Haram to secure their release. We have started seeing the result of the negotiation coming and I pray it would further secure the release of the remaining girls from their abductors.”
The Minister stated this on Thursday in Kaduna while responding to questions from newsmen after a session at the 16th Regular National Council of Women Affairs and Social Development workshop organized by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
While making her keynote address, the minister noted that, the National Center for Women Development (NCWD) has again outlined modules to train additional 10,000 female IDPs between now and December 2017.
She explained that, “My hope and expectation is that the states will give maximum support for the numerous programs and projects being enumerated at the federal level, by replacing same in the states to ensure sustainability.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to in addressing the special needs of vulnerable groups in Nigeria, especially women, children, elderly persons living with disability and internally displaced persons.”
She maintained that, in Africa, Nigeria has commendably demonstrated leadership in early drives to domesticate and integrate the SDGs through sub- national mainstreaming, inter-agency coordination and
Earlier in her welcome address, the Kaduna state commissioner of Women Affairs Rabi Abdulsalam, pointed out that the administration of Governor El-rufai places a high priority on the welfare of children, women, youths, orphans, and persons living with disability irrespective of where they come from.
She said, the theme of the year’s meeting, ‘Inclusive Empowerment; a Key to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Milestone’, was timely considering the present economic situation of the country and how women have proven to be worthy partners in progress which when harnessed, would changed the economy of the country for better.
“This ministry has made conscious and deliberate efforts to better the lives of women in Kaduna; we have worked closely with our development partners in the last one year and have been able to achieve so much.”
She said the ministry hosted a Gender and Business Dialogue (GAB) platform on 29th October 2015, which is aim at creating an enabling environment for business to flourish in the state.
“When the state government established the Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency (KASTELEA), it was sensitive enough to give 22% of those that were employed. Consider also that in the women and youths in agriculture empowerment, our women are given a matching 50% of those absorbed into the program supported by the World Bank.
“Kaduna state has three serving women commissioners and another powerful woman as the head of service in the state executive council, she noted.
According to her, “at the moment, the state government through my ministry is at the verge of establishing Kaduna Incubation Facility (KIFAC). The goal is to establish a business incubator space in Kaduna state to assist entrepreneurs accelerate their business through structured incubation models to address key business environment issues facing business in the state.
The occasion had in attendance all the 36 commissioners of women affairs of the federation.